Tour Down Under: Pozzovivo down but not out after 70kph training crash

'I went from 70kph to zero in just three seconds' says Bahrain-Merida leader

Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) hit the deck at 75 kilometres an hour on Thursday during a training ride ahead of the Tour Down Under but came away with no serious injuries and will start the race in the coming days.

The Italian was on a descent and motor-pacing when the incident occurred. He hit an uneven section of tarmac and came down hard on his left side. He lost skin on his left arm and leg but bravely soldiered on, finishing his training with an additional three hours on bike before returning the team hotel.

“I was riding downhill at around 70kph. I went from 70kph to zero in just three seconds,” the bandaged Italian told Cyclingnews on Saturday morning before a group ride with his Bahrain-Merida teammates.

“There was a bump in the road and I couldn’t do anything. I was motor-pacing and when I landed I took a lot of skin off my left arm and leg. There were no stiches, just a lot of pain, so the doctor cleaned me up and I carried on with the rest of the ride. I think I did another three hours before I was back at the team hotel.”

Pozzovivo is a regular participant at the Tour Down Under, often using the Australian WorldTour race as his season opener. He has taken part in the race four years running since 2015, finishing inside the top 10 in both 2015 and 2016. This year he will lead the team alongside Bahrain-Merida’s new signing Rohan Dennis – a previous winner of the race.

“The medical staff have been great and changing the dressing. Each night it’s getting better, but there’s a lot of bandages,” Pozzovivo said before his training ride.

The objective for the 36-year-old remains a GC challenge.

“Before the crash I felt very good, and I think I can still recover in time for the race.”

In May, Pozzovivo will support Vincenzo Nibali at the Giro d’Italia.

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